WINTERHAVEN, Calif. – David Krawcheck filmed cell phone video of a man blocking traffic at the Andrade Port of Entry just after noon on Saturday.
“He had a knife to his throat and he just kept coming closer,” Krawcheck said.
Krawcheck had driven from Phoenix to visit Algodones only to be stopped before crossing over, because of someone apparently desperate and distraught.
“He was demanding, in Spanish, that he wanted to receive an American ambulance, which he did receive,” Krawcheck said.
Investigators with the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office said it all started when U.S. Customs denied the man entry into the U.S. He had previously been deported. He slowly walked across the border knife in hand.
“He just kept coming closer. Police kept having us back up,” Krawcheck said.
Southbound traffic was at a standstill for about an hour while CBP officers, along with deputies and Border Patrol agents, tried to calm him down.
“The Border Patrol for about a good hour, hour and a half, were just constantly trying to ask him in Spanish to calm down, is there anything they can do to help. They even tried to offer him water,” the witness said.
Deputies asked the man to look in their direction in an effort to distract him.
“One deputy spoke to the individual for nearly an hour before they were able to distract him long enough for a second deputy to use an electronic control device to take the person into custody safely,” ICSO’s Lt. Scott Sheppeard explained.
He was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation before being returned back to Mexico.
Authorities said the man did sustain minor injuries from the incident. His name has not yet been released.